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Iowa => Colorado Mountains - which tire?

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by FarmerFrederico, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Oct 23, 2010 at 3:42 PM
    #1
    FarmerFrederico

    FarmerFrederico [OP] Member

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    Boulder, CO
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    '81 Pick-up MT 2WD, '96 RC MT 2WD, '06 4R 4WD, '10 RC MT 4WD
    Just moved out here to Tabernash, CO near Winter Park and Granby. I've got a '10 RC 4x4 5sp 4cyl. Right now I've got the stock Dunlop AT20's:

    [​IMG]

    Experienced, accomplished, yet cautious driver in snow and ice. 25 mile round-trip commute to work on fairly well maintained Hwy 40. I hear the sections with grade are kept clear and de-iced, but flat sections can be neglected and become ice-covered.

    Hauling 700lb loads of firewood once a week for at least 4 more weeks - access this off a dirt road and across a short bit of open ground.

    Will likely drive over Berthoud pass to Denver a half dozen times this winter - over Rabbit Ears at least a couple times to ski...and likely over to summit county (50 miles) a dozen times as well.

    Heading home to Iowa for Christmas, and to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. So plenty of highway driving but a mix of work to do as well.

    As I'm not sure how long I'll live out here, this might be my only winter in Colorado...studded tires are illegal in Iowa.

    I'm leaning towards an AT tire and my local shop is pushing Hankook Dynapro ATM's for $175/tire.

    A few questions.

    Will these keep me planted on snow and ice and still give me the flexibility and "forget about the tires for a while" piece of mind I'm looking for?

    I'd like to move up to 265/75/16's. I've read they'll fit in stock suspension, but will I need to trim fenders? Will the decreased clearance be a problem in heavy snow?

    Will they stick out far enough from my wheel wells that I'll be spraying dirt and mud all over the sides? I've kind of enjoyed the coverage I've got so far, as my current set up keeps me fairly clean.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts. Great forums BTW! Gotta keep my self from checking out too many of your sweet builds because my pocket book is telling my eyes that they're too big for my stomach!
     
  2. Dec 3, 2010 at 5:53 AM
    #2
    Truckn4life

    Truckn4life Well-Known Member

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    Dan
    Iowa City
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    Hey Adam! Its Dan, from good ol IC.

    Say I am leaving in an hour to get some new 265/75/16 duratracs. from all the hours of online forum and review searching it is the best choice of tire and price for me. I found another guy on TW w/ the same exact truck as the both of us. He has these tires. Said the are great on the highway and he has lost no mpg's. They are snow rated and a commercial traction tire. Made to drive lots of hwy miles with they abilitiy to handle off road/job site conditions.

    It seems to me the argument is b/w Duratracs and BFG's AT's. I say get the one at the best cost and do the chaulk line test.

    At spinler im going to pay $845 for 4 new duratracs, a used same size tire for a spare, an oil change. and im going to get a front end alignment.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Dec 3, 2010 at 6:03 AM
    #3
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    Canton, GA
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    Duratracs or BFG At's..both are great in snow. The good thing about the duratracs is they are pre-siped from the factory. You would have to get the BFG's siped aftermarket.

    I paid $790 for my 265/75/16 duratracs last november.

    As long as you have 4wd you should be ok. I drove berthoud pass during a snow storm last year in girlfriends Acura MDX (awd)and did perfectly fine. She lives in Frisco/Breck right now and drives the MDX and has no issues. That vehicle is great in the snow. You just have to be a cautious driver and take it slow coming into the switchbacks and leave yourself some decent stopping distance.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2010 at 7:43 AM
    #4
    Demoncleaner

    Demoncleaner Well-Known Member

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    Upstate NY
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    05 Dcab 6spd 4x4 TRD Sport w/Tow
    TRD exhaust Homemade bed mat & bed extender, front Drings, Short clutch throw, Summer: Stock 17's Winter: Blizzaks on 16' black steelies
    While nothing will beat true snow tires like a studless blizzak or a studded tire, for your case a good 'snowflake rated' A/T is probably the best choice... Seeing the long mileage trips and you probably dont want to do the switcharo twice a year (and store the other set when you may move again). Tirerack.com has tons of reviews and ratings.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM
    #5
    FarmerFrederico

    FarmerFrederico [OP] Member

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    Boulder, CO
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    '81 Pick-up MT 2WD, '96 RC MT 2WD, '06 4R 4WD, '10 RC MT 4WD
    Dan,

    Good to hear from you...I'll be back for a bit over the Holidays...I'll definitely want to check out the Duratracs on your truck. I think if I get anything, I'll get the Dynapro's - they're available locally, and a few locals have them and rave about them...but honestly, the Dunlops are performing much better than the reviews lead me to expect. I find it difficult to break traction on snowy icy roads in 2WD while driving cautiously...and I really only put it into 4WD when I was hauling firewood across a field with 15" of fairly new snow on the ground, and when I'm going down hill on steep icy roads.

    Thinking twice about it...now that I'm done hauling firewood, I think I might save some money, but dedicated snow tires on for the winter, and then put the Dunlops back on in the summer and run the pair until they wear out, and then put on something like the Dynapros. Any thoughts?

    See you soon!
     
  6. Dec 5, 2010 at 7:39 PM
    #6
    Buddha4

    Buddha4 Active Member

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    cold air intake
    When I lived in CO used a dedicated set of tires/wheels. Since CO allows for studded tires it is a good excuse for 2nd set of wheels. studded tires enhance the positives of a 4X4 and give you the best stopping. "cheep" tires with studs will give you better grip than any unstudded tire.

    Another option is checking on tire chains.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2010 at 6:18 AM
    #7
    Truckn4life

    Truckn4life Well-Known Member

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    Iowa City
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    Hey OP, you should post us some pics of how this side entry topper works. I am curious

    So after a few days with my Duratracs I have some opinions for you. And, yes the hankooks were a choice for me but the after looking at the tire side to side and emailing two other guys on TW with our same truck and the 265/75/16 duratracs. I choose the Duratracs b/c:

    1. They simply look the best,IMO, when compared to hankook and BFG and silent armor and durangos, and every other tire I looked at (in store and specs on tire rack). I was looking only at A/T tires. I have had Kumhos ATM's and I think they kick but off road (real off road, not Iowa) and look super cool. But, are very noisy.

    2. I was scared they would be noisy and vibrate going 90 down the hwy. Especially when you look at the tread design. But, they are the quietest A/t tire I have had (Kumhos,Durangos,Pirelli,Firestone). Yes they are bit louder than the AT20's but it seems to me they suck up a bit of the roads vibration (still doing chualk method, around 34psi per tire).

    3. It came in a C (6ply), our small trucks and 4cyl dont need 10ply tires.

    4. When I read about tread technology and what features in a tread design are for, I started to look at the tread in a diff. way. The duratracs are arranged in a sideways pattern. this helps throw snow and water out, but also helps keep the tire quieter at top hwy speeds. larger channels help water flow through and out the tire. larger spacing in treads help with off-road traction. If you look at the duratracs, they have mini treads inside the channel to help break up water,snow,mud and fling it out. Never seen this before.

    5. Sidewall protection, from curbs!

    I would go with the best deal and stick with duratrac,hankook(great raves from guys in the stores),or BFG. Also, if you go with just winter tires look at Kumhos, IMO they are cheap and a great tire off-road, not on road. I had kumhos in new zealand and they were great in the snowy mountains. I would pull up to chain up stops. they guys would look at me with those tires and 4wd and just wave me up the passes. Never had to put on my chains but once and glad I did.

    But the Duratracs are damn cool looking and defn dont drive the way they look. Just wait and come drive my truck over x-mas, spenler tire trys to stock'm and took an hr. Plus, i kept my AT20's for the summer. Ill try and post a pic later today.
     
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